Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has long been known to have a large impact on our daily lives towards the days leading up to our periods. It comes periodically on a monthly basis and, when it does, can be like an un-expected thunder storm. Some may experience harsher PMS symptoms, and others may even experience no PMS symptoms. But for those who experience the worst of them, life can all of a sudden become a massive struggle.
How can PMS affect the brain?
PMS is a group of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to a woman’s menstrual period. These symptoms can include cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, irritability, and emotional strain. PMS can have a significant impact on a woman’s daily life and can affect her relationships, work, and overall well-being.
While physical symptoms of PMS like cramps, bloating, headaches and more can be extremely painful and annoying to say the least. Some might say that the emotional symptoms are truly the worst. Experiencing emotional strains, feelings that cannot be explained with normal words, can be the hardest part of going through PMS.
Recent research has shown that PMS is associated with changes in the levels of hormones in the body, specifically the levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are important for regulating the menstrual cycle and are believed to play a role in the development of PMS symptoms.
One of the most well-known theories about PMS is that it is related to changes in the levels of serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. Studies have shown that women with PMS have lower levels of serotonin in the days leading up to their period, which may contribute to the development of mood symptoms such as stress and irritability.
Experiencing lower levels of serotonin in the brain can mean a lot with regards to how you feel during the day. The nasty thoughts and arguments you may have about or with your boyfriend, friends and family members is not your fault! These may be due to natural occurring chemical changes in your body and sometimes, these chemicals are simply to difficult to just ignore.
Another theory about PMS is that it is related to changes in the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a role in regulating anxiety and stress. Studies have shown that women with PMS have lower levels of GABA in the days leading up to their period, which may contribute to the development of anxiety symptoms.
Research has also shown that PMS is associated with changes in the activity of certain areas of the brain. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have shown that during the premenstrual phase, women have increased activity in the amygdala, a brain region that is involved in processing emotions such as fear and anxiety. This increased activity in the amygdala may contribute to the development of emotional symptoms of PMS.
In addition to the physical and emotional symptoms of PMS, research has also shown that it can have a significant impact on cognitive function. Studies have found that women with PMS have difficulty with memory, attention, and concentration in the days leading up to their period. These cognitive difficulties may be related to the changes in hormone levels and brain activity that occur during the premenstrual phase.
Don’t be afraid of the science
The point being made here is this: experiencing these PMS symptoms is normal! The studies show that these symptoms are caused by changes within the body that are simply out of your control. There is no need to feel sorry for yourself or even apologies to ANYBODY about how you are feeling and may feel towards someone during that time of the month. And while the science is not openly discussed as much as we would like (do not worry it will eventually), you should just worry about being yourself and be confident that what you feel in 100% you!
Natural remedies that may help
When it comes to it and your feel like the emotional (and physical) symptoms of PMS are going to hit you hard this month… Then, it might be worth to try some natural remedies the days leading up to and during PMS. We always like to mention natural plant-based remedies because our planet Earth has all the answers.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can help reduce PMS symptoms by decreasing bloating and improving mood. Can can be from going fo a walk outside or doing some yoga at home.
- Diet: Eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in salt and caffeine, can help reduce PMS symptoms. Eating healthy is always important no matter what. Always have a bowl of fruits around and EAT YOUR RAW VEGETABLES!
- Herbal remedies: Some herbs, such as chasteberry, evening primrose oil, and ginger, may help reduce PMS symptoms.
- Supplements: Certain supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6, may help reduce PMS symptoms.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting needles into specific points on the body. It may help reduce PMS symptoms by improving blood flow and regulating hormones.
- Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and improve mood, which may help alleviate PMS symptoms.
- Hot or cold compresses: Applying hot or cold compresses to the abdomen or back may help reduce cramping and other physical symptoms of PMS.
- illumis – PMS Formula: A unique and proven natural formula that has been scientifically developed for PMS relief. The formula includes 4 different natural ingredients that work together to enhance their alleviating properties. It targets different part of your body (including the brain) through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help alleviate most emotional and physical symptoms that come with PMS. Read more about illumis – PMS Formula here.
While all these natural remedies may help with your emotional PMS symptoms, it is always important to note that before trying anything new you should check with your trusted health practitioner.
In conclusion, PMS is a complex condition that is associated with normal changes in the levels of hormones, chemical messengers in the brain, and brain activity. Although the specific causes of PMS are not well understood and well discussed in modern day societies, some research suggests that it is related to a combination of these factors. Women who suffer from PMS should consult with their trusted health practitioner to discuss treatment options, which may include some lifestyle changes.
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